390th Bombardment Group (Second World War)

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The 390th Bombardment Group was a B-17 Flying Fortress group that entered service just in time to take part in the raid on Regensburg on 17 August 1943 and that served with the Eighth Air Force for the rest of the Second World War.

The group was formed in the United States in January 1943 and moved to England in July. Its combat debut came on 12 August 1943, only five days before the Regensburg raid. The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its role in the Regensburg raid (where six aircraft were lost), and another for its role in an attack on another of the USAAF's most costly targets, a raid on the ball bearing factory at Schweinfurt on 14 October 1943.

The Group spent most of its time taking part in the strategic bombing campaign. It participated in the Big Week attacks on the German aircraft industry of 20-25 February 1944 and attacked targets across Germany.

The group also performed a number of tactical missions. On D-Day it was used to attack German coastal defences near Caen, attacking fifteen minutes before the landings. It was used to support the American breakout at St Lo in July 1944 and to attack German transport links during the battle of the Bulge. It was also used to support the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945, attacking Luftwaffe bases.

The group's last combat sortie came on 20 April 1945. It was then used to drop food to the starving Dutch in an operation carried out in the week before VE Day. The group returned to the United States in August 1945 and was inactivated in the same month.


The Schweinfurt-Regensburg Mission, Martin Middlebrook. A very detailed account of the costly American daylight raids on Regensburg and Schweinfurt of 17 August 1943, a pair of maximum effort attacks that were meant to cripple parts of German industry but instead made it clear that even the heavily armed B-17 Flying Fortress couldn't operate without fighter escort. [read full review]
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1943-1945: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress


15 January 1943 Constituted as 309th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
July 1943 To England and Eighth Air Force
26 January 1943 Activated
August 1945 To United States
28 August 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Col Edgar M Whittan: 26 Jan 1943
Col Frederick W Ott: 21 Apr 1944
Col Joseph A Miller: 17 Sep 1944
Lt Col George W Von Arb Jr: 23 May 1945
Maj John A Angotti: 26 Jun-Aug 1945.

Main Bases

Geiger Field, Wash: 26 Jan 1943
Great Falls AAB, Mont: 6 Jun-4 Jul 1943
Framlingham, Norfolk, England, Jul 1943-4 Aug 1945
Sioux Falls AA Fld, SD: 12-28 August 1945

Component Units

568th Bombardment Squadron: 26 Jan 1943-28 Aug 1945
569th Bombardment Squadron: 26 Jan 1943-28 Aug 1945
570th Bombardment Squadron: 26 Jan 1943-28 Aug 1945
571st Bombardment Squadron: 26 Jan 1943-28 Aug 1945

Assigned To

1943: 4th Bombardment Wing; VIII Bomber Command; Eighth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 November 2012), 390th Bombardment Group (Second World War) , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/390th_Bombardment_Group.html

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